From January 23rd to January 30th 1977, Americans were glued to their televisions by the tale of one family's struggle. A story that spanned generations, it's an epic tale of strength, perseverance, and hope. Poignant and gripping, this week long miniseries caused America to gaze upon its ugly past with the hope of creating a brighter future. The name of that influential series was Roots
Based on the genealogical novel from author Alex Haley, Roots was a 12-hour television miniseries that went down in history as the third highest rated U.S. television program ever. The groundbreaking series earned nine Emmy awards, a Golden Globe, and a Peabody Award and spawned an equally successful sequel (Roots: The Next Generation).
Through the story of one man's search for his past, many African Americans have been inspired to find their own origin stories. As the world celebrates the 30th anniversary of Roots premier, it is once again time to embark on a search for our own roots.
Based on Alex Haley's best-selling novel about his African ancestors, Roots followed several generations in the lives of a slave family. The saga began with Kunta Kinte (LeVar Burton), a West African youth captured by slave raiders and shipped to America in the 1700s. The family's saga is depicted up until the Civil War where Kunte Kinte's grandson gained emancipation. Roots made its greatest impression on the ratings and widespread popularity it garnered. On average, 130 million - almost half the country at the time -saw all or part of the series. First aired in 1977, Roots has been serving as a catalyst for intense discussions on African American history and race relations for 30 years.
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